IEA drives diversification with new Markets Network initiative: Exporters to be briefed by Ambassadors on Market Diversification & Business Opportunities in association with DHL Express, TransferMate and Bord Bia

Dublin, 11th March 2018: The Irish Exporters Association (IEA) in association with DHL Express, TransferMate and Bord Bia, today launched a new initiative for 2018, the IEA Markets Network. The new programme is made up of a series of regional seminars, training days and an online offering including e-zines and monthly webinars. The IEA Markets Network is aimed at supporting exporters to access overseas market opportunities and support them to better understand the opportunities and challenges as they explore, enter or expand overseas. The format of events will include knowledge briefings with Irish Ambassador’s overseas and Ambassadors in Ireland, as well as case studies, to provide the export community with insights into business opportunities in specific markets.

The series of events kicks off on 14th March with H.E. Stéphane Crouzat, Ambassador of France to Ireland providing a keynote address to a seminar taking place at the Alex Hotel, Dublin 2 on Market Diversification & Business Opportunities, A Focus On: France.

The IEA Markets Network 2018 will consist of:

3 Seminars: Market specific large seminars will take place around the country with case studies from local exporters and expert advice on opportunities in markets looking at sectors, industries, regions, political, economic, socio-cultural, technological, eco-environment and legal considerations.

3 ‘How to develop an export strategy’ Training Days: These one day education programmes aim to assist companies in how to write and implement their own export strategy. Course modules include: Legal; Logistics; Professional Services; Finance; Risk; and International Marketing.

12 Webinars: Each 45 minute market specific online seminar which will include a briefing from an Irish Ambassador overseas or in market Ambassador, a case study by a company successfully trading in that market and also provide links to supports for Irish exporters.

5 E-zines: These newsletters will focus on specific markets and business opportunities, and reinforce content from webinars and seminars with online articles and case studies.

Simon McKeever, Chief Executive, Irish Exporters Association commented: “The Irish Exporters Association is delighted to launch this new initiative with DHL Express, Transfermate and Bord Bia. Last year was a record year for the Irish export industry with the highest annual total on record. Supporting and training companies in how to diversify their export markets is critical this year given the uncertain future we face with our biggest single trading partner. This knowledge sharing programme will help companies to understand the opportunities that lie in new markets, as well as give them practical advice on how to get there.

The IEA are seeing an increasing interest in companies looking to diversify their export markets given the possible ramifications of trading in a post-Brexit environment. Germany is the top destination mentioned by 29% of IEA members surveyed who said they were looking to diversify over the next 6 months. EU markets featured prominently with France being third with 23%, Spain fourth at 19% and the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Sweden all appearing in the top 10. There is also a growing interest in English speaking further flung markets with the USA (27%), Australia (17%) and Canada (16%) all gaining popularity.

For 2018, the IEA have refined our service and training offering to support the industry given the potential changes coming down the line with Brexit. We currently offer an extensive range of training including Brexit for your Supply Chain which gives each participant clear guidance on customs procedures and documentation in a post-Brexit scenario.”

Brian Murray, Commercial Director, DHL Express stated: “DHL Express are delighted to be partnering with the Irish Exporters Association on this exciting new initiative to support Irish exporters. While the uncertainty of Brexit has created many challenges for Irish companies, it also creates opportunities for Irish companies to reduce their reliance on the UK market by diversifying into new markets. With a global network that spreads to virtually every country in the world, DHL Express are uniquely positioned to provide insight and support to Irish companies looking to enter new global markets. We look forward to working closely with the IEA and the other partners to support Irish companies grow and expand globally.”

Sinead Fitzmaurice, Co-Founder and CFO, TransferMate Global Payments mentioned: Over the past year or so, TransferMate has significantly increased its exporting client base. With this increase, we realised that for many businesses, collecting overseas payments was just as big a challenge as making them, in terms of time and cost. Thankfully, TransferMate is tackling this challenge by rolling out our International Receivables solution to businesses and banks all over the world. By integrating our technology into existing accounting, ERP and banking systems, clients in export markets will have the end-to-end solution for global payables and receivables, saving them time, money and improving their cash flow while simplifying their accounting processes.

We are delighted to be part of this initiative with the Irish Exporter’s Association, which hopefully acts as a beacon of light for other Irish companies entering export markets.”

David Kennedy, International Markets Manager, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board commented: “Irish manufacturers exported a record €12.6bn of food and drink to over 180 markets worldwide in 2017. This represented a record 8th year of consecutive growth for an industry that exports up to 80% of what it produces. Given the importance of continued diversification of these exports to leverage increasing opportunities in international markets Bord Bia is delighted to be part of this initiative and work alongside Irish food and drink manufacturers in growing their export business.”